News from the Town Hall Square Alliance – Planning Decision

Last night (Wednesday 19th) the Council forced through a motion that their planning decision on the Town Hall Square application can be taken by three people, two people or even one person. The unique combination of incompetence and prejudice that is Mayor Sadeem Siddiqui presided over the pantomime that those who have visited a council meeting will now be familiar with, and the decision was passed that the planning committee can be composed of just the two or three people who had not become ineligible to sit on the committee when others declared an interest in the scheme in the previous meeting. Two of the three are labour group councillors and it is obvious what the decision will be regardless of all the objections, given that this is a politically driven scheme.Alternatively they may allow for the decision to be made by one officer, the Director of Community and Learning.

This is all despite a decision passed at the previous meeting to not go ahead with the scheme and give the £600 000 from the NRF to the voluntary sector to compensate for cuts in their budgets. We still do not have clear information about how much NRF money is involved or how much the cuts have been compensated by other measures.

A vote of no confidence in the mayor was proposed but unfortunately was not passed. Another feature of the meeting was the banning of any debate on the woeful state of street lighting in the borough.